I want to do it MY way, not God’s way!

tantrum child

I just watched a film called “Run the Race,” (its on youtube) and the last lines in it were “You can either run from God or to God and for a long time I was running from God, but I tell you, turn around and embrace Him because He’s just there right behind you and He loves you like crazy.”

And there it is my message from God, one of the many that come my way every day since I got back from Australia, regardless of how I have felt – and I have hit some really low points, God has never stopped sending me messages or signs. Many would say that is just my interpretation and maybe it is, but too many synchronicities, too many drops in the ocean of my anger, despair and shame have stood out.

Returning to England after the Volunteer Selection Programme I felt initially relieved to back in the familiar. But within a few days I knew I was angry – angry that I hadn’t received the approval; the validation that I was okay really; the reassurance that God understood my sin – the reasons why I had done these things; the excuses I have used and the pain I have felt: He got that I was messed up and I was a bit of mess, but “it wasn’t that all that bad really.” I wanted to know that God was as convinced of my good girl facade as I was. I had thought that my “trying” was enough – after all this has been my lifelong go-to – the use of my will power and intellect.

But God is not conned and is certainly no fool and those that are growing in God’s Way of Love are not fooled either. I couldn’t fool them: they saw me, they saw my injuries, they saw me “trying.” They did see the good too and I stayed beyond the first week because I was so happy to be there, and willing at that point to hear a bit of truth. But by the second week of the VSP I was in a panic, I got overwhelmed and didn’t even recognise it because as soon as that happened I fell into my desire to “manage” it, manage my feelings, and get them under control again. When I was asked a question, instead of saying the truth, I tried to say the answer I thought they wanted and I didn’t listen. I didn’t want to speak or hear the truth – it hadn’t worked in the past and even though I was there for the truth, when it came I didn’t like it because it exposed all the unloving things I was doing to avoid my pain. Now I could have gone wow, I know what the problem is now and be humble to feel the emotions, but I didn’t. I wanted to hide from my ‘good girl’ facade being confronted, no matter that was what I was there for.

woman-carnival-mask-in-venice

I felt huge shame and still do feel shame that I was told I was very needy and to be blunt that has made me an emotional vampire and open to those that will either reassure me I am not or those that will use my neediness to use and abuse me: something that has happened many times already. I couldn’t emotionally feel the sin of my neediness or the position it has put me in my life. Many of my friends and family see me as a strong person: I am strong in controlling my emotions, in presenting a face to the world, that hides the fear and shame that I am inherently flawed and worthless and I am angry about the things that happened to me and I have held onto this anger, but with a smile or seriousness presented to the world. With gritted teeth, “I’m not angry and I am not terrified – I am a good girl and I will become whoever you want me to be just so that I am not hurt, judged, attacked or rejected. “

So for the first two months back home, I went into an angry state and then a depression because I wasn’t feeling it. I felt unwell, exhausted, numb, foggy, de-motivated and hopeless. I hid away in my cave, spacing out on TV and food. Then I got afraid about what was happening to me and a book fell from my shelf and a few other things – it felt like God was saying “I haven’t given up on you, don’t you give up on you either.”

So I listened to the feedback I received a couple of times and I felt the compassion and kindness in it and I recognised intellectually at least everything that was being said was right, painful as it may be, it is right.

Then I remembered the love, compassion and tenderness in the feedback.

Then I remembered that the truth was told to me so that I can change it.

Then remembered that whilst I was there I felt like I was experiencing real love for the first time in my life and it felt beautiful and different and I was curious to know more.

Then I remembered that I got to experience this new way to live, what it is like to be around people who are always truthful and that it is actually far less exhausting (even when it freaked me out).

Then I remembered all the moments, the special moments when I got to hear some of their future plans, when I got to share with friends, laugh, wonder, talk – all of us with a common interest

Then I remembered that I can no longer look at the green, rolling hills of Devon in the same way without seeing the decimation of the land from agriculture and wonder how God really made it before we stomped over it without due care or responsibility.

Then I remembered that when Jesus gave me a farewell hug I got to feel the beautiful, powerful, softness in his soul. I think I said to a friend can you receive a rainbow in a hug? I think I did. It’s there because so much of God’s Love is in his soul…. and he’s telling us we can be that.

Then I remembered that I had met other brothers and sisters, and that somehow we had all got there, that there was something in our soul wanting this – a seed that needs watering (and soil that needs a lot of weeding).

Then I remembered that I was experiencing and hearing things that very few have heard yet and what I do with this matters, not just to me, but to everyone.

So many memories and feelings about that 3 months I can’t name it all: so much magic and in such a magnificent place in the world.

I would love to say I was ready to return, because as I come out from my sulk I want to be there again and again and make much more of the opportunities I was given, but I know I have emotional work to do first. Tristan, Eloise, Jesus and Mary said they want to experience the real me and they meant that sincerely. I was confused by that, if I am honest, because I don’t know who she is. When I am alone is maybe the only time I let her pop her head up –where it’s “safe.”

Basically, I have got to walk my walk and stop just talking about it and I know I need to soften. My facade is rigid and hard and wants to hang on tight. So I have started doing things to understand why I want my facade so much and what I think I gain in this state, what I am covering up, what I am ashamed of, what I am avoiding wanting to feel. I know I have to deconstruct my facade so I am just going to try anything and everything for a while.

I’ve started reading books on God, on emotions, listening to music that opens my soul, that I can dance to as that moves something in me, and instead of hiding away in my cave, have started going to meet ups to be around people and to tune into the creativity that is in my soul – a place where I stop over-thinking, therapy, and of course listening to Jesus and Mary’s talks on the facade and addictions from 2014 and anything else that seems worth a try.

I’m going back to basics trying to re-sensitise myself – doing things with my body, listening to my body, walking and I have even come across a group for women where we can go and have a tantrum and a good scream and shout because I am still resisting feeling my anger. I start a bit and then feel like a fool, obsessed with the idea someone is listening and is going to judge me. It’s becoming a bit of a frustrating (ironically) habit so I thought if I put myself in a room with women who have similar issues, but in an environment where we will be pushed to start letting it out, it’s worth shot. I am going to experiment with whatever comes up and see what happens. I am after all breaking down a rock face J

That film that I mentioned at the beginning was one of the things that “popped up” unexpectedly and of course the main character has an issue with God – he’s angry about the things that have happened to him and he can’t pray because of it. He’s really pissed at God….

I’m not sure why God thought that would be good for me to watch 😉

But seriously, I love these ‘synchronicities.’ They happen all the time and are an indication of how much help we have. I would love to be ready to do the next VSP and wish I could re-do week two with what I have now realised about my behaviour that week, as I had such a huge opportunity to change something right there, with the gift of loving, honest people around me who would longed for me to be truthful because they care.

I feel more positive right now (today) and like the idea that God loves me like crazy. It must be crazy love to be so incredibly patient with me.

A bull in a China shop

Jesus said that when our facade is confronted, as mine was, it is the time many walk away from God’s Way and Divine Truth. I’m not walking away, but I’m having trouble letting go and really getting started, but I have decided it is better to clatter my way experimenting with different things and it might look a bit like a bull in a china shop, (if fact an angry bull might be a good description!) but it’s better than doing nothing. Then one day I can look back at this post and go .. oh boy there’s my facade, and there and there and there… thank goodness those days are over – what was I holding on for?

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THE MOUNTAIN TO GOD

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I have borrowed inspiration from Aphraar in Through the Mists* where chapter IV is named The Mount of God. This book and the two that follow are the story of Aphraar’s life once he passes and leaves his earthly body and existence behind. The books are pure magic and I have read them again and again. If you want to know more about spirit life, God, God’s Love for us, His goodness and Laws (which are all about love) and the potential that is possible for us all then read and read them. They are my absolute favourites and I learn new things every time.

I love mountains, always have especially after climbing my first one nearly 30 years ago. It was Snowdon, in North Wales and I climbed it in a pair of borrowed plimsolls on a random trip one June. I was fortunate that it was a warm, dry day as there are parts of the climb where movable pieces of slate and shale can pull you over in worse weather and take you to your peril down the side of the mountain. But to be honest, I never gave it a thought: I was an exhilarated and fearless adventurer and I loved every step up, every step closer to the summit. The air was so clean and the views varying as I climbed until I reached the peak and what I saw took my breath away and made my soul sing. I remember holding my arms up to the sky and even though I didn’t have any thoughts about God at that time in my life, I felt such gratitude for such grandeur and beauty.

Snowdon is only 3,560ft – a small mountain compared to the 29,000 feet of Everest, but I have only managed to climb mountains in the UK so far and it has given me a taste of something: a sense of freedom and wonder, gained by the challenges it offered and it came to me that the journey I am currently on is like that. I have been listening to the amazing talks from the 2016 Divine Truth Assistance Groups and so have been reflecting a lot on my own journey with ‘The Way,’ as Jesus calls it. If you have read my blog you will see it has been a very in and out journey and when I read back on some of my posts, I can see constant misunderstandings about it and myself amid pieces of Truth. It is why I suggest you always refer back to the actual teaching on the Divine Truth website, as my learning has been slow. I can spout off stuff intellectually, but I am talking about my true learning: the soul based, emotional learning. The real stuff!

In early 2012, I was living near Glastonbury – the UK centre of many different, mostly New Age beliefs. It attracts many pilgrims looking for something and I was one of them. I guess you could say that at that time I was living in a valley down from the mountain where there were many paths crossing each other, heading off in different directions, many going round in circles, or coming to a dead end. Now in that valley there are many people who are a bit like cats: you know when a cat falls off a fence it moves so fast to act as if nothing happened and it’s in complete control, pretending nothing did happen…a bit of self delusion to create a cool facade.

When I first arrived at that valley it seemed full of wonder and interest. I saw things I had never seen before, investigated and tried some of them: yes the proverbial kid in the sweet shop. I was lost and I was looking for new experiences and I found them. But you know the thing about sweets? They are not really good for you: they are a big con. They may taste sweet, but they are made of cheap refined sugar, with additives and other nasties in them. They are there to tempt you and there are many sweet makers who tell you lies and woo you with the colour and other sensory delights as you eat their poison.

A bit dramatic you may think, but my experience there showed it to be true. Glastonbury was full of tricksters, misleading paths and lies and we may have been seeking something, but for many of us we were just feeding our sugar addiction because we wanted to feel better, to feel special: we wanted the buzz, the tingle of sherbet on our tongues.

I have a questioning mind and a certain sixth sense and I started to notice things that didn’t feel right, in fact some of it felt very off. I experienced a very addictive relationship – that initially felt sweeter than sugar, but I was tricked by my own addiction and darkened my soul. I became less happy (was it really happiness or just addiction fulfilment?) and less interested in the winding paths and stayed at home more and more. But one day I came home after some crazy event and I shouted out and said, “Whoever you are, Bob, God, Great Spirit – if you are up there I want the truth. I am sick of the lies, the inconsistencies, and the bloody mysteries, please give me the truth.”

I must have meant it, as within 24 hours I had received an email from a friend saying, “Check this out” and there was a link to the “Secrets of the Universe” talks that Jesus did in 2007/8. I watched the first one and then the next one and I sat there with my mouth open, choked up some emotion as something hit my heart and then laughed. Here it was, without realising it, I had sent up a prayer and God answered. Yes, the guy talking said he was Jesus – I’d need to think about that for a bit, but boy everything he said made sense. It was so opposite to the new age stuff I had been feeding off the previous few years, I actually felt relieved and hopeful.

Then it turned out, Jesus and Mary were over for a visit about 10 days later. When I got back home after listening to them (they were just so humble and grounded), I seemed to have moved out of the valley and was now sitting at the bottom of a very large mountain. Well I didn’t know how large it was as the clouds were around the top at the time, but it looked interesting and remember I love mountains, so it was definitely more intriguing than the valley to me.

For the next 18 months, I was excited by it, but also sometimes struggling to not be pulled back into the valley by the sweet addiction and ended up in some interesting situations, mostly because of my mediumship ( which I called channelling then) and I was tuning into so many things without discernment or knowledge. I set up a healing and card reading little place about 3 months after discovering Divine Truth, but I very quickly just got a feeling it wasn’t right in some way so stopped it. But despite this pulling in and out, I couldn’t stop watching the Divine Truth videos and I think it was the “Truth about Reincarnation” talk and the talks on spirits that really made me see that life in the Valley of New Age was not all it thought itself to be.

So I wandered in the valley a little for a while, but with a growing fascination for the mountain and a desire to climb it. I did physically leave Glastonbury early 2014, very sick of it if I am honest and I started my blog as I had decided it was time to try the mountain.

The first attempt up the mountain didn’t go to well. You think reading a book on mountain climbing teaches you how to climb it, but it doesn’t: you can understand a few ideas, but until you put one foot in front of another and equip yourself with the right things, you don’t really know. I will say for the next three years, following that decision, my attempt at the mountain was extremely slow. I have fallen over and slid back down many times; I have even told lies to others to give the impression I am an expert on mountain climbing, even though I have only gone a 100 metres at the very most; I have become very angry and had a tantrum about “how hard it is;” and berated myself for my uselessness and incapability to get farther. During these times I was often stomping round the base of the mountain or sulking, not moving an inch, throwing the occasional rock upwards.

Much of my failure has been because my motivation was wrong and I wanted to do it my way. I wanted to get up the mountain so that I could quickly forget the past: the valley of New Age, the City of Sin, the Prison of Fear and the Cage of Family. I wanted to be able to magically float up the mountain and just be at the top enjoying the view, congratulating myself I had done it and everything was different.

Well, you can’t get up a mountain like that apparently. Last year, I finally started to look a bit more closely about what my motivation was and what I had been doing wrong. So forget the sudden transformation to the top – what is this mountain all about anyway? What is so special about this mountain? I started by looking at who has already got higher than me on the mountain and what were they doing that I wasn’t.
Well near the top was Jesus – do I feel he is Jesus? Yes. Why? Because he seems to know how to get up this mountain; because he seems to walk his walk; practice what he teaches and understand more about this mountain than anyone I have ever heard: “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Coming up after him, bit further down was Mary and she is exactly the same – walking her walk. Both with courage, care and openness: unselfishly happy to show the rest of us the way.

There are a few others who have started the climb and in all these people I have seen positive changes in them over the years. Watching Jesus and Mary get happier and closer to each other is pretty awesome and inspiring. But with all the successful climbers, what is the common factor and why do they want to climb the mountain?

What I learnt by watching and listening to them is that their motivation was different – they had an interest in the Creator of the mountain. They want to discover more about how the mountain got there and why, what was its purpose, who created it and what does it say about the Creator of such an amazing, majestic thing? So now, I have been doing the same, learning about the Creator, looking with fresh eyes and questioning things I thought were true.

I also had a realisation about the climb up the mountain, remembering my first every climb all those years ago: that I enjoyed every step and even when others told me it could be dangerous I didn’t stop. I also realised that being harsh on myself, pushing myself up the mountain would ruin the journey. I wouldn’t notice the things along the way: the mountain flowers; the way the rocks are formed; small patches of various grasses; butterflies and other small creatures who inhabit tiny homes there; the taste of beautiful mountain waters and the breath of it’s clean air.

How can I know how to truly climb a mountain, learn everything it has to teach me about myself if I try to fight the natural way it shows me to go. The mountain and its Creator want me to enjoy the journey: to be patient with myself, to have courage, and to drink the waters of Truth it offers. Because a mountain is magnificent, beautiful, strong, steady and if we take our steps with patience and awareness it will hold us and lift us to new heights and that is what the Creator wants – for us to lift to new heights: to bring us close to Him, to enjoy and experience what has been made for us and what we can co-create with Her.

You cannot pick up a violin and know how to play its beautiful harmony in a moment: only patience, desire and endurance will lead you to play it skilfully and passionately. You will make mistakes, you will learn from them just as every time your feet slip on the mountain, you become more aware of the right way to climb its great heights.

This is the Way and the Way is all about wanting to understand and to know the Creator of the majestic mountain which rises much higher than any earthly mountain can. Its views and the beauty that await I cannot comprehend, but I am finally beginning to understand it’s not about some magic wand to wash away my pain. It’s about my desire, my will and my willingness to be humble to the journey and to be loving with myself along the Way. God waits patiently for me, she wisely knows that the journey has to be done to appreciate and treasure the lessons and gifts She has to offer. God knows that with each step the magic is happening and that the heavy rucksack (of my pain) I start with will become lighter and lighter until it disappears and I suspect my vision will become clearer and clearer too. ** Why not? So that I can experience the heights of being near my Creator. I am curious to know what that will feel like: to be in the presence of Love, as Jesus and many others teach. This is my hope and I still know so little, but what I am learning bring revelations and new views. I am too curious to stop.

When I started this blog – I said I was seeking Truth with little understanding of what that meant. I still am, but now I am shifting into seeking Truth about God and I feel this is where I will truly find myself and I will not be alone.

So fellow mountaineers or potential mountaineers, put on your boots, bring all your investigating gadgets and experimenting tools. Ensure you have plenty of pockets to fill with faith as you climb, be humble to the process and allow the discovery to open your heart along the Way, so that as you climb you learn to breathe in the gift of love and breathe out to gift it to others. Be patient, be kind, allow rest, and stay steadfast, “for he shall have all men saved.” *

I shall let dear Aphraar, have the final words,
“I realised the unspeakable mercy and love that had been exercised in the design displayed before me…..My previous conceptions fell thus short of the reality of the scene which lay before me as I stood upon that mountain side; yet this was not heaven itself, but only one of the halting places within the ranch of God’s infinitude, where homeward-bound souls could rest and refresh…towards their Father’s house of many mansions.
…For as language fails me to express the quality of the scene unfolded to my view, so also am I powerless to convey an indication of the area over which that celestial panorama was unrolled…Did I say it had plains and streams? It were far more true to say my eye wandered over vast continents, fruitful and picturesque, each bounded by proportionate seas and oceans…The gardens of Babylon were forgotten in the contemplation of such horticulture attainments….. The rose of Sharon blanched its cheek in the face of rich blossoms; and the aroma from the sweet incense of Jerusalem only became a type of perfume wafted by breezes from those trees which are robed in a living green..
Peoples of every nationality, intermingled without distinction; no cold formality, condescension, or patronage was visible among them, but rather a recognition that each possessed some power to augment the happiness of his fellow, and that the society of all was necessary for joy to reach its full ideal. It was a sacred, holy sight to gaze upon…
My eye moistened, and I bowed my head in gratitude as I received the revelation, and turning to my companion, I asked:
“What is this place?”
“The Mount of God, one of the vestibules of heaven.”
Maxine Bell@2019
*All quotes taken from ‘Through the Mists: Leaves from the Autobiography of Aphraar Volume 1’ Recorded by Robert James

**These are growing discoveries about God, and much has been felt reading Aphraar’s story, as well as The Padgett messages, nature and of course the Divine Truth teaching. But true knowledge of God comes from opening to receiving Her love and I may have let one small moment happen, which led me to cry for an hour. I am scared of surrendering, and I have old false beliefs from religion I’m still shaking off. I still do not have a definite knowledge of God or His existence yet: I am seeking and investigating with a growing desire by educating myself from books, talks and use of my own logic and I find in that it’s impossible not to open to God’s goodness sometimes. May this grow in me so that what I share becomes more full of truth. Besides it’s always good to investigate yourself.

There are a wealth of talks about Relationship with God on http://www.divinetruth.com or search on the Divine Truth channel on YouTube.

THOUGHTS ON LOVE

love-is-a-gift

We live in a world where we say “there are plenty more fish in the sea;” where we console ourselves over lost love by imagining another person is out there and that our perfect mate is our choice. We just have to find the “right” one and often these days we have a list of requirements: tall, slim, happy, positive, makes me laugh, kindness, takes care of me, nice eyes, long legs, large breasts, intelligent, sexy, a good cook and so the list goes on.

In the process of looking for a good match, we make mistakes and kiss many “frogs” before we find out prince or princess. This is the same whether straight or gay. We keep looking for that other half to fulfil our lives, that person who will make us happy and whom we can share our lives with and yet we don’t want to admit there is maybe just one other half. The truth is we are told there is not just one special person, that there are many who we could match with and we just look for that best match. A few people believe in finding “The One”, but are often mocked about this. Our ideas about love and relationships is very confused and contradictory.

In the western world, at least, our ears are constantly filled with songs of broken hearts and lost love. The other side of the coin is the number of programmes about dating, finding dates, and even weddings. We are certainly looking, but in fact many of us are pretty confused about the whole thing. I recently watched a few episodes of a programme in the in the UK called first dates. I felt it was a bit of escapism, but I also think inside I am also trying to work out this love/relationship stuff, just like the rest of you. Before the dates they are the participants what they are looking for and in so many people I notice the first things people list are physical, even down the type of teeth, the next most common thing is “fun,” “make me laugh” and “be positive and happy.” ( to me this indicates how afraid we are of each other’s sadness) .For women the other frequent request is be a gentleman and be big/strong;  keep me safe and take care of me. There is very little mentioned about personality, qualities, ethics, morals, or much of any real depth. It may possibly be there, but they don’t say it.

Between the lines there is a lot of disappointment, confusion and hurt about love and relationships as well as a huge amount of fears about not being loved and accepted and safe. I too have these emotions, but what I have realised lately is that I have never felt truly seen or loved for myself. I always had this feeling that any mistake I made I would be punished and rejected. My belief is that to be loved I had to be perfect.

Then it hit me that the other side of this was that I had never allowed myself to be truly seen and that I didn’t even love or know myself so how could expect anyone else to love the real me. I don’t even know the real me, myself yet. I learnt early on in my childhood, like many of us, that to receive “love” I had to become the person that was acceptable to my parents and other adults around me. I had to be “good girl” or “helper” or “servant” or any other role that fitted their beliefs about me. I don’t remember my mother ever asking what dreams I had or what I would like to be. I just remember if I showed an emotion she didn’t like or expressed something she didn’t understand or want to hear or was too busy to listen too I was shut down, screamed at or ignored. So to not get punished or yelled at or ignored or rejected by my parents I became what they wanted and the feeling I have now is that “I” fragmented across the universe somewhere; went into hiding and quickly formed a facade that helped me survive, but in the long-term was and is deeply painful and got the point until recently where I really believe my facade is me.

This is the truth for most of us in one form or another and so we grow into adulthood with roles. For men is could be provider; strong; capable; husband; lover ( who knows what he’s doing)  or “DIY-er, for example. For women there are  many roles: carer; mother; nurturer; helper; virgin; sexy; sister; friend; multi-tasker and these days we are often expected to be able to and expected to be all of them plus have a career. It is pretty exhausting. But which one or any of them is us, the real us?

We can’t find love, I haven’t found love because I haven’t found me, and I haven’t found love because I haven’t even understood love. When I watched that dating programme I saw clearly, what Jesus has been teaching, that most relationships are based on co-dependency and we think that is love. We think that someone who fulfils all our needs or more truthfully, the “holes” in us is someone who loves us and we love someone if we fulfil all their needs: it is an emotionally addictive bartering system.The trouble with having a list of wants is that we are often never satisfied and is based on someone or both people sacrificing themselves or parts of themselves.

I can look back on all my relationships and see in each one I became who they wanted me to be. I fitted into their life, rather than discover what I wanted and when their were times I started to seek something for myself the relationship would start to break down: the bartering system started to shatter. In this process, I compromised myself in so many ways: self-love, sexually, ethically and morally. Over time, my disappointments and  hurts and pain got deeper and my demands to them got greater. I tried to have control over everything and I got angry and more in addiction. My fear and sadness got greater and the things I did and the things I wanted partners to do to stop me feeling my sadness and fear got darker.

Co-dependency is a sticky, thick, ugly thing. It is all about facade and it may feel “comfortable” or “safe” because it helps us avoid painful emotions, but is does not lead us to love. How can we be intimate when we are not being our true selves? We are being a lie and living a lie. I feel very sad about the lie I have lived for so long and because it has been lived for so long there is a lot of lies/facade to break down and a lot of unlovingness to myself and others to face.

So how to do we change it? How do I change it? For me, apart from a lot of self-reflection and increasing my longing to understand and know the truth I have also been trying to learn about love; the real truth about love – God’s truth about love. It isn’t easy and I find myself confused at times, fighting between old belief systems, the world’s belief systems, versus what Jesus and Mary are teaching. The facts are there though – look at the world – if we knew love, it would  not be as it is. If we knew about love, we would not be so obsessed with our version of romantic love that seems to go wrong constantly. We are not being honest that we just don’t know. The fact is I think we just have to start again – look at the whole thing again.

Something else has hit me in recent years and listening to Divine Truth is the idea that I have a soulmate – THE other half of my soul: the perfect partner for me, created for me by God. Yep, despite free will, it seems that we don’t have a choice in who our soulmate is! That is pretty confronting if you compare it with the world’s view. We can of course reject our soulmate and try to defy what God created for us, but for me it is a fact I can’t ignore. I am not sure if I have accepted it 100%, but I do know that I can’t just look at any man anymore. As those of you who have followed my blog you will know I have suspicion who my soul mate is, but because of all my emotional injuries I really don’t know for sure and to be honest, not even sure how I could have attracted him into my life even temporarily. I have some deep emotions to heal around gender and sexuality and other things.

But, logically, it makes sense that to know the other half of me, I need to start knowing who I am. If I want to be intimate with my other half, I have to find that intimacy with myself: fearlessly and I have to start challenging my beliefs about love because they sure haven’t worked so far.  The “love” I have known has been conditional and in God’s eyes that isn’t love. Jesus teaches, love is a gift: unconditionally and in my heart I don’t know that yet.

I have been reading a book called “Loveability: how to love and to be loved” by Robert Holden and he talks about our deep fear that we are unloveable and it has led to our obsession with falling in love. This obsession is about being loved rather than being loving, indicating that fear of unloveablity. He says we need to stop falling and start thinking what real love is. This is what Jesus has been saying for 2000 years – what is real love and indicating that real love is demonstrated constantly by God in so many ways in our lives.

In the book, unconditional love is summarised and is very similar to what Jesus teaches so I like what was written:

  • “Love is not an act… not an audition.”  Jesus says that love and truth go hand in hand so you can not love or be loved if you are in facade.
  • “Love is not  a bargain.. it is not a currency you buy things with…Love does not make deals. Love does not say, ‘I will give you love, but first you must give me something else.” This is the bartering system I was talking about and most of us are in these type of relationships ( any type of relationship).  I love this quote by Hafiz, “Even after all this time, The sun never says to the earth: “you owe me!”
  • “Love is not idolatry… when you don’t feel equal you give yourself away and take on a role.. they block intimacy. They conceal dishonesty.” I have done this many times – made myself smaller, less important than the other. If you make someone else higher than you, you live in fear and suffering: this is not love. It is a lack of self-love at the very least.
  • “Love is not special…. such as, “I’ve been saving all my love for you.” You are making someone into your “holy cow,”  Robert Holden says, and use them to “milk as much love as possible.” Love is not exclusive for one person, the goal is to love everyone. When you love you can love anyone ( though of course soulmate love or love with God with is different – though I will admit I am struggling with this one).
  • “Love is not selfish..Love is full of desire. You are intent on knowing the whole person… drop the mask and stop hiding. ” This makes me feel that Love is brave and open: it flies and dances. I have felt lust and infatuation – both feel addictive and selfish – it is all about what you can get.

I think hearing that Love is a gift has been one of the most important things I have heard. It really made me think about my demands, my fears and truly how loving or not I have been over the years. From this point, I can ask myself: do I really love this person freely, without condition? Am I willing to gift my love without expectation or demand? Then if I feel any demand or expectation I know in that moment I am not loving them.

Also, do I really want to know them? Do I really want them to know me? Am I prepared to be vulnerable and open and humble to the errors and fears in me? This is intimacy – being prepared to be completely vulnerable and it scares the crap out of me and yet I am also curious. I have tried the other way and it has brought me much unhappiness, and suffering.

We need to be prepared to see the mountain of evidence that we know little about love and that’s okay. Just be honest about where we are at and build a desire to know the truth. When I was a child I had this feeling, among all the chaos around me,  that if they just loved more things would be better: that love would be the answer. When we are kids we do know much more than the adults around us often. I grew up sadly, feeling my heart had been very badly battered and bruised  – but it wasn’t and isn’t love that does that. It is not-love that does that. So to find love, to know love, we need to look at the not-love in the world: the not-love in ourselves, our false beliefs, our neediness, our fear, our grief.

We can’t change things we are lying about – because a lie isn’t a reality: it is a lie. Only the truth can create change, because it is truth and logically truth is real. For me, my personal truth is too impacted by emotional baggage at the moments so I look for a greater truth – a higher truth and only God has that. That is what makes God, God – she knows more than us – about love and about what is true. Jesus says to learn about love we have to learn about Love from someone who obviously knows more about love than us. Weirdly, we often try to learn from others around us who know as little or less than we do: we all scramble around in the dark together. So stop scrambling and look for someone who carries the torch. Only they can show us the way: the ones who carry the light: there are a few on earth, but a more guaranteed source in God. Praying for the faith to really know that in my heart – what a day that will be!

@2017 Maxine x

 

 

 

 

BADGER CULLING: HOW DO YOU FEEL?

badgers

This post is a bit different from my normal posts, but it is still about love. This time it is about my love for animals and specifically a protected species that is being mindlessly killed by the thousands here in the UK: Badgers. I have decided I want to stop the badger culling that is happening. To save them, but also to pay back something to the animal kingdom as I used to be a meat eater and I can now feel how awful that is and for me helping the badgers is a step to atone for that unloving action.

To give a bit of background, I became a vegetarian back in 2001, but didn’t do it very well and became malnourished and ate fish again for a about 2 years or so. I obviously still had some emotions about food and eating to work through. Since my son was born in 1994 I had gradually gone off different types of meat, the last thing being chicken. Bit by bit I suddenly saw and felt the “meat” as a living breathing animal. I couldn’t disassociate anymore and then eventually the same happened for fish. I have now been vegan since the end of 2015, though I was hardly eating much dairy by then. I did it for health reasons and then watched the film “Cowspiracy”  which not just talked about the animals, but also the impact on the environment of the meat and dairy industry, and that completed the transition.

Since I have become vegan I have over time found it harder to understand why people eat meat. I know it is not nutritionally necessary, but I guess there has been an emotional shift in me that now it seems very odd when I see people buying and eating meat and even at times, if I am honest, I am repulsed by it. I “see” the animals and I sometimes hear their cries.

Then lately, I have the feeling I want to atone for the sin of eating meat. This is not a judgement on those that do, but just how I feel within myself. The badger culling has upset me since I first heard about it and I signed a petition, but now I am wanting to do more if I can so I hope I can contribute some awareness to start with.

The reason for badger culling, so the government say, is to reduce the incidence of bovine TB, which has devastating effects on the farming industry and their families. (Of course if we didn’t eat meat or dairy this wouldn’t even be an issue as farming would be plant-based).

Here are the facts:  (source the Badger Action Network and Wildlife Trust)

  • This year 19,274 badgers were culled ( and this doesn’t include the number in West Somerset or West Gloucestershire)
  • Next year 33,841 are targeted
  • A scientific study was done between 1998 and 2006 where Lord Krebs concluded, ” badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain” and “Culling is not a viable policy option.”
  • The primary cause of the spreading of Bovine TB has been shown to be cattle to cattle.
  • In fact, Bovine TB exists in the countryside and has been found in everything from soil, earthworms, cats, sheep pigs and more.
  • Badgers were protected by the Protection of Badger Act in 1992 and the Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats because they are a crucial part of an ecosystem. When one badger is killed the number of foxes doubled.
  • The badger cull has no support from the British Veterinary Association, the public or any wildlife charities.
  • There is  no evidence that culling has changed the level of bovine TB. In fact prolonged culling has been shown to increase bovine TB levels because it affects badger behaviour and the location of badger setts.
  • Badger Culling is more expensive than vaccination. Between 2012-14 £16.8 million was spent on the culling of 2,476 badgers which works out at £6785 per badger. Vaccinations cost £293 per badger
  • Most scientists and wildlife experts believe that vaccination is more effective as it does not  disrupt badger behaviour.
  • More research also needs to be done on biosecurity to prevent cattle to cattle spreading of the disease.
  • Here is a short film by some leading wildlife experts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhojkHMyaJg

So it all seems very clear and we can take actions: sign petitions, join local groups and write to MPs and much of that has been done. In fact, there has been a huge public outcry about this so why isn’t it changing? Why are the government ignoring experts and its voters and continuing with this illogical and awful killing?

I believe it is the same reasons, people still eat meat. We have become hugely disassociated from our emotions about animals and nature in general. We look upon our survival as dependent on us and our actions. We don’t accept emotionally simple facts, such as without trees, we won’t have oxygen; without flies, we would have piles of bodily waste products sitting on the planet. We don’t FEEL how much we need nature and in fact because of our development how we are the custodians of this planet and all the creatures in it and that possibly this beautiful place is ours to enjoy without the need to destroy it or the any living being who lives here with us. We still have very arrogant and maybe have religious justifications for “lording it over” animals, thinking we have a right to their meat, to their reproduction. Therefore, we don’t feel all our fears that underlie this: our fears about our own survival, for instance.

In the video, one expert stated he understood the farmers angry emotions about the impact of bovine TB on their lives and that because of this they wanted someone to pay. How awful, that it is now the badgers that are paying for the fact that farmers feel helpless, don’t want to feel helpless and want something to make them feel better: so let’s kill badgers and despite the evidence to the contrary. To be a farmer, you must have to become emotionally detached from animals and their suffering to varying degrees, whether it is sending them for the slaughter; putting newborn calves in tiny pens the same day as ripping from their mothers; killing hundreds of thousands of male chicks or forcing cows to produce gallons of milk time and time again after forcibly inseminating them.

But none of us are innocent in this. We demand dairy products, we love our cheese, we want our steaks and we want someone else to provide it for us, to kill the animal for us, to take the baby calf away so that we can drink it’s milk. We want that. So despite the fact than many of us are up in arms about badger culling, and we want animals to be recognised as sentient beings we actually are hypocritical every time we put on our leather shoes, or cut into our Christmas turkey. We won’t look at our real emotions – the un-lovingness in each of us that allows these things to occur and asks another person, a farmer to kill on our behalf.

We can not change things we are lying about. We can only change things when we face the truth, emotionally, of what is  happening. If you really want to stop this awful culling, you can take some peaceful actions, but you can also ask yourself about how you really feel about animals. Watch things that will trigger emotions, such films as “Earthlings,” and don’t cover your eyes or press pause. Face the truth, feel it. If thinking was the answer all the scientific evidence would have changed things. It hasn’t. For some reason the culling is continuing so this means we are not recognising something we need to.

To not eat meat again I have had an emotional shift, over time that deepens over time. There are many who become vegan for lots of reasons and it is currently quite fashionable, but if the shift isn’t in your heart you will feel “tempted” to eat meat again, you will find it difficult or you will become anaemic because of your fears around plant-based diets.

We need to do the same for all our treatment of animals. Stop disconnecting, face the truth and chose Love. We ignore what is staring us in the face because it is not convenient, it challenges our “comfortable” lives and addictions. Ironically, that is the  point, to change everything, we have to challenge and question all the ways we are doing things and seek the loving solution and the real truth. We will make mistakes, but the seeking of the truth is a very good first step. It is the that step which created this blog in the first place: an experiment, a searching and seeking for change.

I want to save the badgers. I want to learn what love is. But other times I am still very angry, in pain, wanting addictions and presenting a face to the world that isn’t me. That is the truth: a battle of my soul, a seeking and searching, making mistake after mistake and getting a few things right. But I would rather try than do nothing. As Roosevelt said:

“The best thing to do is the right thing. The next best thing to do is the wrong thing. The worst thing to do is nothing.”

Prayers for the badgers and all the beautiful creatures that share this world with me.

@2017 Maxine Bell